Huffington Post, September 26, 2013
Sebastian, a 24-year-old New Yorker from Puerto Rico, adores his little nephew, loves playing with him and teaching him Bob Marley songs, and hopes one day to have a child or children of his own. But as a gay man who is newly diagnosed with HIV, he isn’t sure whether he can have biological children of his own or when he might be in a solid-enough relationship to share parenting responsibilities, or even when he might have a stable-enough career and finances to afford raising a kid.
“It’s not so much about being gay for me,” he says. “Fatherhood is about becoming a man. I grew up without a father, and I think becoming one will help me understand my own masculinity. The HIV is something that is now in the way, you know? I’m just looking to see how that obstacle can be gotten out of the way. Are there prudent, realistic solutions for such a problem?”
Help for Sebastian might be at hand at the Men Having Babies conference, which returns to New York City on Oct. 6 to offer workshops and panels for gay men thinking about becoming parents. In addition to advice from experts, parents, and surrogates; 24 breakout sessions; and an exhibit with more than 30 service providers, the conference will hold a new panel specifically for men with HIV that it debuted in May at the Los Angeles version of the conference.